You can fly directly into Tortola, the main island of the BVI, or you can fly to St. Thomas in the USVI and take a ferry to Tortola. Personally, we think the logistics of flying into Tortola are easier, but depending upon your departure city, the flights to St. Thomas could cost significantly less.
Getting to BVI by air: All US flights to Tortola are routed through San Juan; the best carriers between San Juan and Tortola are American Airlines and Cape Air. Although there are other choices, these two are the most reliable. The airport is located on Beef Island which is connected by a land bridge to the East End of Tortola. Depending upon your arrival time, many charter yachts can pick you up right in Trellis Bay which is 3 minutes from the airport. The majority of charter yachts pick up in Village Cay Marina which is a 20-25 minute taxi. A few charter yachts pick up in West End which is a 45-minute taxi.
Getting to BVI by ferry: Several ferries run between St. Thomas and Tortola. The main ferry terminal in St. Thomas is in Charlotte Amalie about 10 minutes from the airport; the ferry transfer to Tortola is about 45 minutes and costs approximately $30 pp one-way/$50 roundtrip. Reservations are not needed or accepted. Although you can purchase tickets online, you cannot reserve a particular time. Our recommendation is just to buy them once you get there. That way you are not married to any one ferry operator if your schedule changes.
Important: The last scheduled ferry to Tortola leaves at 4:30/5:00 p.m. (they alternate between the two times each week). After your flight lands, you should allow about an hour to collect your bags, grab a taxi and get to the ferry on time. We highly recommend the expedited service offered by Smith’s Ferry which only costs about $12 pp. They will meet you at the airport and get you to the ferry. I have even had them delay the ferry’s departure for a few minutes for guests who were slightly late. We are happy to set all of this up for you.
Remember, flights can be delayed so you might consider spending your first night in St. Thomas and taking a morning ferry across. If you miss the ferry, you are stuck in St. Thomas without a hotel reservation, and you’ve already paid for the one in Tortola.
Here are the three local ferry schedules - always confirm your plans with us. We've been doing this for years and know the best way to get you there.
Private Water Taxis Also Available: If you'd like the convenience of a private transfer on your own schedule, we can arrange a water taxi for you.
Getting from the ferry to the yacht: First of all, there are two ferry terminals in Tortola – West End and Road Town. Most yachts pick up at Village Cay Marina which is 5 minutes from Road Town and 20-25 minutes from West End so it is best if you take a ferry that brings you to Road Town. At either location, you will proceed through Customs and Immigration; numerous taxi drivers are waiting outside or we can set one up for you in advance.
Above prices are set by local operators and are subject to change.